Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Alvernia’s Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program is a terminal degree program that paves the way for BSN graduates to complete advance nursing practice clinical coursework and DNP requirements in one combined effort. The program of study emphasizes the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze and improve clinical environments; healthcare organizations and systems; translate evidence gained through nursing research to support improved practice; and make meaningful use of clinical data to measure outcomes of patient groups, populations, and communities.

Designed for Working RNs
This program – one of the few post baccalaureate nursing degree to DNP Programs of its kind offered in Pennsylvania  - offers evening courses in a distance-friendly online blended format. Additional on-campus intensive course offerings (weekend residency) are offered for several doctoral level courses, while upper level courses are primarily online. 

Students will gain clinical experience and develop critical thinking skills by working with nurse practitioner preceptors in the Reading, Lancaster, and Berks County region. Alvernia faculty provide clinical practicum placement assistance and hands-on supervision to ensure clinical experiences at the DNP level are optimal for students.

Post Baccalaureate Tracks
Post Baccalaureate nurses can choose from two Primary Care Nurse Practitioner tracks of study:

  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Students enrolled in either of these tracks must complete Clinical Leadership related courses.  At the conclusion of the full DNP Programs, students are eligible to sit for their certification exam as a nurse practitioner.

Career Opportunities
Employment opportunities for graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program include a variety of clinical practice settings such as private physician office/practice, community clinics, retail clinics, school or college health service. DNPs may also be involved in nursing education in both clinical and classroom settings. DNPs may be employed in healthcare administrative roles.

Alvernia DNP graduates will work as nurse practitioners in a clinical specialty arena and evolve in their skills and knowledge to translate evidence-based practice and effectively improve systems of care for individuals, families, and communities.  As a DNP, graduates may have a range of career opportunities to combine clinical practice, nursing education, administration, research, and health policy to impact healthcare at the local, regional, national, and global level.

What Can I Expect From This Program?
After completing Alvernia’s DNP Program, students will:

  • Practice at an advanced level of clinical expertise to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based care to culturally diverse populations.
  • Synthesize research-based evidence to influence optimal delivery of care resulting in positive changes in the health status of culturally diverse populations.
  • Use information systems, technology-based resources, and quality improvement principles to examine, evaluate, and inform decision-making processes in order to improve patient and population outcomes, practice patterns, and systems of care.
  • Display ethical and moral leadership skills in positions of increasing complexity within healthcare delivery systems.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in order to collaborate and lead interprofessional teams in the analysis of practice and organization related issues and ethical dilemmas.
  • Analyze local to global health policy processes from multiple stakeholders’ perspectives such as consumers, nursing, and other health professions in order to influence healthcare financing, practice regulation, and health care delivery.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at a Glance

  • Students gain a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical/practicum experience
  • Flexible hours and blended learning format of online, in-class, and on-campus intensive weekend residencies are designed to maximize student learning experiences.
  • Our BSN-DNP curriculum pathway creates a seamless transition for post-baccalaureate nurses to prepare for advance nursing practice and leadership roles.
  • A positive community presence in Reading, Pottsville, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley, Berks County and other parts of Eastern Pennsylvania, providing countless regional opportunities and connections
  • Expert faculty who are dedicated to ensuring students graduate with the requisite knowledge and skills needed to assume leadership roles in clinical practice

Vision Statement
Our vision is that DNP graduates act as ethical leaders with moral courage to promote healthcare equity; increase access to quality health care; provide service to the community; translate research to improve healthcare for diverse populations; and serve as local, regional, state, national, and international change agents for future nursing practice and health policy advocacy.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (


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DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice
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